Morning in the Burned House
“Bare child’s feet on the scorched floorboards
(I can almost see)
In my burning clothes, the thin green shorts
And grubby yellow T-shirt
Holding my cindery, non-existent,
Radiant flesh. Incandescent.”
Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood is a poem describing the mind of a burned house and of how it is tormented by pain and evil; and yet, in the midst of this darkness, there is light to guide the soul of the house to safety and into a world of peace and forgiveness. The two stanzas chosen for this analysis are the final two stanzas, in which pain and peace are both shown in different perspectives.
“Bare child’s feet on the scorched floorboards” is metaphorically showing how the house’s soul’s past is connected to the present, how it’s first memories are still in its mind, though everything else is gone. The only thing connecting the house to its past are the footprints on the floorboards. The “scorched floorboards” represent the darkness in its life; how darkness has taken over everything in the house’s life and mind. The child’s footprints are also a symbol of guidance; they guide the mind of the house to safety and protection through evil and danger.
“(I can almost see)” describes how the darkness is very thick, the hatred and anger almost hides the light of happiness. The darkness nearly blinds the house’s soul in despair and pain, yet it can faintly see the light of hope on the other side, see that all was well before the tragedy had happened.
“In my burning clothes, the thin green shorts and grubby yellow T-shirt” is giving the reader a small image of the house itself, of how it is burned to its skeleton, the green shorts being the lawn, the yellow T-shirt being the paint on the walls and the outside of the house. The colors portray the image of happiness and calm, but the word “grubby” gives it another image. “Grubby” now tells of how the house, even though it looks fine from a...
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